WEST JEFFERSON-Local Habitat for Humanity volunteers put the finishing touches on the group’s second Buffalo Meadows house project last week.
And all it took was a few hundred volunteers, roughly $100,000 and several thousand hours of hard work, according to Gerry Tygielski, Ashe County Habitat for Humanity’s construction supervisor.
“In most ways this was really a repeat build of the first house,” Tygielski said. “But we got things done a little quicker than on the first project, which to me is a really good sign that the local Habitat is really coming along.”
The group held a dedication ceremony at the home on Sept. 27, and turned the keys over to Dakota and Andrea Hamm and their three kids who will move into the house later this week.
That’s how long it took to complete the project, according to Tygielski. The all-volunteer group spent roughly six hours each week building the Buffalo Meadows house, which they were able to complete in just over a year’s time.
More than 4,400 hours
That’s the number of man hours it took to complete the build, Tygielski said. An average of 14 volunteers pitched in on the house each weekend.
That’s at least how much Habitat’s volunteer methods were able to shave off the cost to build the project, Tygielski said. The house cost the group just less than $100,000 to build and is likely worth at least $140,000. How is that calculated? It has a similar floor plan and nearly identical features to the home next door which Habitat completed in 2013. That house was appraised at roughly $138,000 two years ago, Tygielski said.
That’s the square footage Habitat was able to build for its money. The three bedroom, two bath floor plan has no hallways. Ashe County Habitat for Humanity President Bill Wheeler called them “dead space.” Instead, the house features a large main space in its center and bedrooms that branch off from the living room.
$53 per month
The estimated average utility bill the Hamm’s will pay each month thanks to energy saving – and energy producing – technology incorporated into the home by Habitat’s builders, Tygielski said. That included the use of insulated concrete forms, a geothermal heat pump and a grid-tied solar panel array that produces power that is essentially sold back to Blue Ridge Electric. That system slashes the amount the home’s owners will pay in electricity costs each month.
A house in half the time
Ashe County Habitat for Humanity was able to build its most recent home in less than half the time it needed to build its first. The group was formed in 2008, at the midpoint of the Great Recession, and needed more than five years to raise the money and complete its first house. Habitat was able to do the same for the second home in little more than two years.
Habitat isn’t a freebie
Tygielski said that’s the most common misconception about Habitat for Humanity. Habitat applicants must demonstrate financial need, a willingness to partner with the organization to build their own home or others and the ability to pay off their new home’s interest free loan.
Five homes in five years
With the completion of its second Buffalo Meadows build, Habitat is setting its sights on even loftier goals. The group hopes to build five homes over the next five years just off Hickory Hills Road in Jefferson. The group will break ground on the first of those five homes next spring.
Reach Adam Orr at 336-846-7164 or Twitter.com/AdamROrr.